Is my two-year-old message-in-the-bottle letter on post-communism orthodontics to the BDJ is still relevant?

Two years ago, I wrote a letter to the BDJ describing an orthodontic landscape in the former Soviet Union, today I want to revise my text…

Radio Silence

No one knows anything for certain about Russian orthodontics. Some probably have heard about murky self-proclaimed Soviet professors whose manners replicate those of Middle Eastern dictators. Others may have seen online some pictures by young Russian clinicians who seems to be so excited by the fact that teeth can be moved with nitinol wires that they tend to upload every step of the treatment as a single social media post. But what does this really tell us? Unfortunately, the former haven’t published papers in peer-reviewed journals, so we do not know if their claims for their academic titles are justified. Neither of the latter, in turn, have passed a board certification, so it is not clear if their social media accounts represent anything more than decent photography skills.

1566177526-Message-in-bottle

Message In A Bottle

On this very day two years ago, the British Dental Journal published my letter in which I was trying to give a balanced assessment on the current state of orthodontic specialty in Russia. I wrote that text partially because I wanted to give some advice to western dentists and orthodontists in case they needed to refer a patient to Russia and partially because I just felt a necessity to release my voice.

In hindsight, I do not feel I could have composed a better letter. Moreover, I think that almost nothing has changed over the past two years, so everything written then is still true today.

It’s Alright, Ma

I believe in openness. And the only way to be open and trustworthy for an orthodontist is to go through a board certification. I tend to think that there are several Russian orthodontists capable enough of doing so, and I have almost collected the required number of cases to sit the exam in the European Board myself.

In contrast, I don’t believe that orthodontics is a competition in photography skills or a contest in juggling with academic titles.

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